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Iran features to adorn BFI London Film Festival’s screen

The 61st BFI London Film Festival is to screen 2 Iranian feature films.

The 61st edition of the BFI London Film Festival has scheduled to screen two feature films by Iranian filmmakers.

The festival’s Films in Love section will screen ‘Israfil’ directed by Ida Panahandeh and Abbas Kiarostami’s ‘24 Frames’ will go on screen in the Films in Create section.

Ida Panahandeh’s highy-anticipated second feature is a meticulously constructed reflection on lost love, loneliness and life choices, viewed through the prism of three intersecting lives.

The 100-minute film starts with a fight that erupts at the funeral of Mahi’s young son – a successful wrestler who died suddenly in a car crash. Behrooz, a figure from Mahi’s past, has turned up to pay his respects.

An unexpected and unwelcome guest, he has returned after two decades in exile to sell his land and meet his fiancée Sara for the first time. Having spent a lifetime caring for her disabled mother, Sara is at odds with her brother about how to care for their mother and determined to take a step towards enjoying a life of her own. But Mahi and Behrooz’s reunion stirs up a painful past.

Panahandeh sensitively articulates the reasons why their young love wasn’t allowed to flourish and brings into focus its long-term repercussions.

The late Abbas Kiarostami’s final film is an experimental compilation of still images imaginatively brought to life by sound and animation: lyrical, funny, mysterious and often quite magical.

Premiered to acclaim in Cannes this year, the 108-minute ‘24 Frames’ comprises 24 inventive, witty, sometimes haunting vignettes exploring aspects of movement, composition and time.

Before his untimely death, Kiarostami embarked on a highly personal project, uniting painting, photography and film: a series of four-and-a-half minute shorts bringing still images to life with animation and sound.

Posthumously assembled by his son Ahmad, the results display the Iranian’s favorite visual motifs: snow, trees, birds, animals, water, the wind; even people (memorably, six tourists in Paris).

The compilation begins with Bruegel’s Hunters in the Snow, which slowly begins to show small, subtle signs of life; thereafter Kiarostami’s own photos provide the starting points for animated tableaux which are in turn playful, lyrical, funny, enigmatic and very moving.

Modest miniatures in the style of Kiarostami’s haiku-like poems, they are a gift packed with mystery and magic.

Launched in 1953, the BFI London Film Festival is an annual film festival held in the UK.

Slated for October 4-15, the 61st edition of the BFI will present more than 240 movies from across the world.

MG/MG

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